Studio Ghibli Wants to Turn the Forest That Inspired 'My Neighbor Totoro' into a Nature Preserve

Found on the outskirts of Tokorozawa, the Kaminoyama forest is being eyed for an 8.6-acre protected preserve

BY Kaelen BellPublished Jun 10, 2022

Studio Ghibli is getting involved in a crowdfunding campaign to convert an 8.6-acre portion of the Kaminoyama forest — the same place that served as inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki's beloved 1988 classic My Neighbor Totoro — into a nature preserve.

Miyazaki has previously stated that the forested areas surrounding the town of Tokorozawa were a direct influence on the creation of the Totoro story, with the artist moving to the area in the 1970s. 

And now, Miyazaki is hoping to honour that connection by aiding in the local government's crowdfunding efforts to raise an estimated $25 million CAD to transition a portion of the forest into a dedicated preserve. 

As fans donate to the project, Studio Ghibli will print reproductions of original My Neighbor Totoro scene and backdrop paintings and gift them to those donating. A total of five scenes from My Neighbor Totoro will be printed by the studio, though the number available will be limited. Currently, the studio plans to support the fundraising effort by offering 1,000 of the reproductions, though additional series may come in the future. 

The campaign will be launched in September 2022, with a single set of five framed art pieces going for 25,000 yen (about $237 CAD). 

Revisit a My Neighbor Totoro trailer below.

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